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Thread: Is my kid ashamed of me?

  1. #1

    Is my kid ashamed of me?

    I have a 7-year old daughter. I was injured when she was just a year old. I have observed that whenever we attend parties, she acts as if we’re not together. She doesn’t come near me. I’m with the PCA while she’s with her dad. The same thing happens when she participates in a program at school and we watch. She doesn’t approach me after the show. She doesn't take notice of me. I know she can sense I'm looking and waiting to congratulate her or say something to her but she goes to her dad always. She wasn't like this before when she was younger. At home, she’s sweet to me. It occurred to me that she could be embarrassed to be seen with me in public. I asked her and she denied but action speaks louder than words. How do I explain (at her age) not to be ashamed of her mom in wheelchair who at the same time has unclear speech? I think the way I talk is more embarrassing for her because whenever I talk people nearby tend to look in my direction probably wondering what on earth am I saying or wondering why I talk that way. Any suggesstions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member darrel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Macomb, Il
    I am sure that she is not ashamed of you, misdirected or confused maybe but not ashamed. at that young of an age I am sure that her friends say things and she hers them and tries to impress her little friends that really have no clue.
    I am sorry you are having to deal with this. I am sure it is very hard on you. but keep in mind you gave birth to her and she will snap out of it soon. Have faith in her, and always praise her, when the time comes for her to need some one she will come to you for the moral support that she knows she will get.
    Last edited by darrel; 02-11-2008 at 09:47 AM.

  3. #3
    Oh no. Don't think that way, Clueless. I have three daughters, just toddlers when I broke my neck. I think your daughter is just figuring things out on her own, coming to terms with the situation. I hope her daddy is encouraging love and interaction with you. He sets the example here IMO. Don't worry though, be patient, you'll always be her mom. There is an innate love that NOthing or person can take away, from my experience...and believe me, my ex tried. Show confidence, your actions speak to her, also. I hope you get some peace of mind about this soon. I worried too much, for no reason in the long run.

  4. #4
    Honestly, if she is, she is the first 7 year old I've heard of that feels that way. In my experience, it just doesn't happen. My mom was in a wheelchair, neither of my kids were ashamed of her. My youngest was 11 when I was hurt but I never saw any shame. Granddaughter is 6, she just wants to push me. Strangers smile and tell her what a good helper she is.

    There are always exceptions but I'd be very surprised.

    When she's 14, she'll be ashamed of you. If you were an AB supermodel, she'd be ashamed LOL.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zilnh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    New Hampshire
    Have you thought about volunteering at the school?

    Or, even better, go in and talk about your life to the class, what you do for work, etc. Kids that age have a bazillion questions, you might be able to educate a group kids in a really fun way. Of course, they will ask bizarre question, so you would need to be prepared for that too.

    Never underestimate the power of a ride in a wheel chair to a 7 year old. Most would think that is the coolest thing ever. My 6 year old daughter had a 5 minute ride in a hospital w/c 4 months ago. She still talks about it.

    If the speech is an issue, either your PCA or your daughter could help you.

    Be the cool mom. You can do it!

    I wished upon a falling star, I wished it had not fallen...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Alberta, Canada
    She may be doing it to try and benefit you. People most likely do stare when she approaches you. I bet it pisses her off when people don't mind their own business. I hate when people attract attention my way. Try not to let it hurt you. Just give her time to figure it out on her own. It doesn't mean she love you any less.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    south central virginia
    i dont think embarrassment is the issue. young ones love their parents so much and are always so proud to have mom or dad come and see them do anything at school. my son was 7 when i went into my wc and he has never shown any embarrassment at all. in most cases, girls are closer to their fathers and boys to their mothers and it could just a natural thing of running to daddy? and as someone said, dad can help this by saying, go ask mommy how she thinks you did...she is so proud of you! i know it hurts when you are sitting there and she appears to ignore you. maybe instead of asking her if she is embarrassed of you, you could just talk to her in general and ask her if her friends ever mention you being in a wheelchair and what they say. or ask her, now since you are getting older, do you have any questions about mommy and why i am in the chair. she may be afraid to talk to you about those kinds of issues because she doesnt want to make you sad or hurt your feelings. it took me a while to get my children to talk openly about those issues. i also know that for a long time, my children were very afraid that i was going to die. i even got a call from school and my son, who was in the 4th grade had had a melt down at school. nothing major had happened or anything, but he just had it on his mind and he was afraid. they had talked to him and calmed him and in the midst of it all, he told them not to tell me because he didnt want me to be upset or hurt that he lost it. so we never told him i knew. i relate my experience only to say that maybe some of these same things are going on with your daughter now that she is in school and other children maybe talking to her about it. but please do not think she is embarrassed of you as i am sure that is the furthest thing from the truth of what is going on. that little girl loves you so dont ever forget that.

  8. #8
    She is probably trying to sort out her feelings about many things. As Betheny said, if she is embarrassed of you she is one of the first I've heard.

    I don't have children, but I do have nieces. One of mine told me my hands creeped her out last year. A friend of hers said the same. I thought for a moment, then told them my hands kinda creeped me out, too, at first. It was the truth. That niece and her friend were seven years old at the time and are in the second grade.

    I felt stung by the words initially, but those two were being honest. My niece knows she can always say whatever she is thinking about anything to me and it's okay. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body so what was said was not out of any sort of malice.

    I asked them both if they thought about how it would be if I didn't have my funny hands. I wouldn't be able to hug or make cookies with them or play games or any of the those things they love.

    The next time I saw my niece she was kewl about it. She still prefers to hold my less disabled looking hand, but she reaches for my hands any chance she can. I laugh and call her my little monkey because she is always climbing on me or wanting to sit in my lap.

    I volunteer at her school when I'm there. The last time I was there she announced to her class, "This is MY Aunt MaryEllen." I work with the children in art so there is no denying I have funky looking hands. My hands are right there in front of God and everybody as I show the kids what we're doing that day.

    I'm asked questions by the students and I answer what they want to know. It seems most just want to know what happened and if it hurts. Those who kind of think things through want to know how I do certain things for myself.

    I tell you this to say that your daughter may feel lots of things. She may be asked questions she doesn't really know how to answer. She may not have the answers to what she is asked. She may have questions of her own for you she's never asked.

    The more you are around the other children and the more they see you and get to know you, the better for all, especially your daughter. Hang in, okay? I have a feeling this will all workout for you three.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    JUst wondering about something you said. "I am with the Pca and she is with her Dad." At the party I picturing you and the PCA hanging back out of the way and she and Dad in the middle of things. Is it not so much that she is ignoring YOU but that you just aren;t where her attention is at the moment? Is she maybe even sensing that you would prefer to be out of the spotlight, so letting that be?

    Just wondering. Like Bethany said, when she is a teenager she'll probably be ashamed of you .... but because of the music you listen to, or that dopy looking sweater you wear all the time, or because you don't know who *insert hot singer name her* is. Just like ALL teenagers!
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  10. #10
    My granddaughter is fascinated by my claw-hand for a minute or 2, usually. Then she wants to play doctor and fix it, discuss what it can or can't do, then forget about it completely until I tell her to be patient...hands like this are slow at doing little girl hair!

    Her 6th bday party is this weekend. I'll look to see if I notice anything.

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